We are talking about apostles being master builders and laying foundations for the Church that Jesus is building.
I have noted from my years of experience that apostles are Church planters and prefer starting from scratch and building from conception forward. They really don’t like to build upon another’s foundation – although they often do because of situations and circumstances.
Paul writes, “And thus I make it my ambition to preach the Gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation.” (Romans 15:20 ESV). The Godspeed translation says, “So as not to build on foundations other men had laid.”
Since apostles are foundation layers, they generally don’t like to build upon another’s foundation. They would rather lay a new foundation when the foundation is not correct. They have the anointing to replace it with a correct foundation. This is their preference – starting fresh.
However, apostles can and do go in to already existing churches and by the grace and calling under which they function they spueraturally see the “cracks” in the existing foundations and what needs to be done to repair the foundation and return the local church to health allowing the church to begin again to win the lost and make disciples.
Apostolic anointing will be the strongest in areas, regions, or lives where a foundation needs to be laid. You don’t need foundational men when the structure has been completed, unless something is wrong with the foundation. An apostle can minister as a pastor or teacher in many cases, but will flow best when a foundation needs to be laid.
So, apostles are planters. Paul states,
“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1 Corinthians 3:6)
Apostles are happiest and most effective when they plant churches. They have the anointing to plant new works. There are many new works that need to be planted in inner cities, areas, and nations yet to be reached. In many areas in North America traditional churches are closing. These areas, often with decreasing populations, need apostles to plant new, vital and effective churches that will work in these situations.
A planter must be able to PLOW through territory that is not conducive to planting. They break up the fallow ground and plant the seed of the Word. Planters are sowers. Apostles sow their lives and ministries within the places they are sent.
Some will say that we already have enough churches and need to work on and change many of the existing ones. Pastors especially get nervous about a new church being planted in their areas. However, many existing churches are resistant to new truth and revelation. Many are traditional and fight change and are no longer effectively going into all the world and making disciples.
New moves of God produce new revelation that requires new churches to carry and preach that revelation. This is why new churches must be planted even in areas where there are already existing churches. Apostles have the authority and power to do this. They preach revelation and plant churches to carry that revelation.